Premier League • England

Thomas Tuchel heightens Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Chelsea rumours by revealing ‘close bond’ with Barcelona star

Thomas Tuchel and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Thomas Tuchel has intensified rumours of Chelsea interest in Barcelona’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang by telling a press conference about his great relationship with the forward.

Barcelona are willing to let Aubameyang go this month, despite him only joining them on a free transfer from Arsenal in January. And Chelsea are reportedly one of the leading suitors for the 33-year-old.

Fabrizio Romano states Blues chiefs are in discussions with Barca over a move. However, they are yet to send a formal offer to the Spanish club.

This could happen soon as Tuchel apparently views Aubameyang as the ‘perfect striker’ for his system.

Of course, Chelsea did have Romelu Lukaku in their squad at the end of last season. But the Belgian has gone back to Inter Milan on loan, leaving a gaping hole in Chelsea’s forward line.

Tuchel worked with Aubameyang at Borussia Dortmund, and the pair struck up a great relationship.

Ahead of Chelsea’s clash against Tottenham on Sunday, Tuchel was asked about the speculation surrounding the Barca attacker. He did little to shut the rumours down, saying (via Metro): “This is totally separate from anything that is happening now, but I enjoyed a lot working with Auba while I was at Dortmund.

“Some players stay your players because you were very, very close. And Auba is one of those players.

Thomas Tuchel has ‘close bond’ with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

“There was always straight away this close bond. They always stay your players in a way.”

Tuchel was also asked about the rift between Mikel Arteta and Aubameyang. Arteta stripped the Gabon star of the Arsenal captaincy before urging club officials to get rid of him.

Tuchel added: “I experienced no issues with him, but this has nothing to do with the situation in Arsenal, about which I will also not comment out of respect.

“In Dortmund there was never an issue.”

Tuchel was then quizzed about Wesley Fofana potentially moving from Leicester City to Chelsea this summer. However, the manager didn’t want to respond.

It’s no surprise Tuchel has spoken so highly of Aubameyang. The player hit 79 goals during Tuchel’s two seasons in charge of Dortmund, helping BVB to win the German Cup.

Tuchel knows Aubameyang extremely well and would be able to get the best out of him if a reunion took place at Stamford Bridge.

It would be a bold move from Aubameyang to come back to the Premier League with Chelsea. He spent four years at their London rivals Arsenal, netting 92 goals in 163 appearances.

Joining Chelsea would ruin his reputation among the Arsenal fans. And he certainly wouldn’t receive a warm welcome when going back to the Emirates.

It is now up to Chelsea owner Todd Boehly to decide whether the Aubameyang talks will be taken to the next stage.

And he may have to be quick when making this decision. Barca only want to sell one of Aubameyang and Memphis Depay, and with West Ham aiming to sign the latter, Chelsea could be beaten to the punch.

Meanwhile, Chelsea are reportedly planning a second bid for Inter Milan wonderkid Cesare Casadei.